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2022 Lt. Governor’s Challenge Winners Announced

Lt. Governor Hall-Long will recognize eight unique programs on November 3rd at the Wellness Leadership Awards.

The 2022 winners have set outstanding standards for what it means to think of others’ needs and create initiatives and programs to support Delawareans’ physical, mental and emotional health needs.”
— Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, PhD, RN

DOVER, DELAWARE, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2022 / -- The 2022 Lt. Governor's Challenge has announced eight recipients of this year’s prestigious Wellness Leadership award. The mission of the annual Lt. Governor’s Challenge is to recognize local health and wellness programs, policies or environmental changes that help improve the quality of life of Delawareans. The winning submissions came from individuals, organizations and institutions across Delaware who made a commitment to enacting better health and wellness for their communities, ultimately helping to elevate the well-being, productivity, and prosperity of the State of Delaware.

“The winners of the 2022 Challenge have set outstanding standards for what it means to think of others’ needs and create initiatives and programs to support Delawareans’ physical, mental and emotional health needs,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, PhD, RN. “In doing so, we all benefit from their efforts. I am proud of their creative ideas, their accomplishments, and their commitment to making the First State a healthier place to live and work.”

2022 Lt. Governor’s Challenge Winners
The Challenge is more than just a recognition program. It offers entrants the opportunity to demonstrate that they are drivers of change among family, neighborhoods, workplaces, faith-based organizations and institutions, communities, and schools. While both categories of champions exemplify the Challenge’s mission of encouraging healthy lifestyles, recipients of the Delaware Wellness Hero Award have shown the highest degree and most comprehensive PSE (policy, system or environmental) changes to address their specific public health issue. Winners of the Delaware Health Leader Award are being applauded for taking significant steps to improve the overall health of their community. The 2022 Lt Governor’s Challenge list of awardees includes:

Delaware Wellness Hero Award
• DSU Wesley College of Health & Behavioral Sciences – Developed a survey to screen for food insecurity and mental health impacts within their student population. DSU began monitoring student mental health levels and created a food pantry which has served over 1,000 students.

• Hope Lutheran Early Education Center – Created a cooking class for children to broaden their food preferences and to include healthier choices, setting them on a pathway to a healthier life. Students learn about the foods, why they are healthy, and even how to grow the food from seed to harvest. The program resulted in an improvement in students’ food preferences and willingness to try new foods.

• Kim Blanch – Created a program to educate Beebe Healthcare staff on trauma and how it affects physical health over a person’s lifetime. 1,100 employees volunteered to participate in the second part of the program, which has led to improved emotional well-being and a better understanding of trauma and how it affects themselves and others.

Delaware Health Leader Award
• Erika Cook – Developed programs, including life-enrichment classes and wellness screenings, to combat social isolation and depression for residents at Selbyville’s Bayside community. She also created a biweekly internal wellness program featuring doctors, educators, and artists that provide tips on nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and more.

• Schell Brothers Homebuilders – Improved physical health by sponsoring exercise classes, having an on-site personal trainer, and building a gym for employees and their families. Their program also includes an exercise break for employees, daily exercise classes, and a yearly ‘Biggest Loser’ competition with prizes to encourage physical health.

• Community Education Building – The organization worked with a network of partners to provide a healthy ecosystem for students, children, and families in Delaware. Their health initiative included providing food security, health services, access to physical and behavioral health services, and much more to those in need.

• The Eco Team at George S. Welch Elementary – Created an education program to expand on environmental literacy and knowledge, including lessons on recycling and composting and more frequent outdoor classes. The program results in students that are more environmentally conscious and a reduction in waste.

• Kuehne Company – Created a ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ program to improve the physical, emotional, and financial health of their staff. The program provided healthy snacks on-site, set up consultations with a nutritionist, access to mental health services, and more.

The Selection Process
All Challenge nominees completed an extensive application process with a requirement to feature an initiative that met the following criteria:

● SUSTAINABILITY: The initiative should provide ongoing opportunity for healthier living, instead of being a one-off activity.
● REACH: The initiative should seek to demonstrate improvements in the capacity to address the health needs of a community or a target population.
● OUTCOME/IMPACT: The initiative should demonstrate measured improvements in access and/or increased opportunities for improving behavioral and physical health in the state.

A review committee including impartial judges from the Division of Public Health, nonprofits, community leaders and educators collaborated on selecting the winners.

Making a Difference in Delaware
By engaging businesses, local organizations and individuals to be change-makers for health in their communities, the Lt. Governor’s Challenge spotlights and applauds those implementing solutions to create environments that support and sustain overall good health in the state.

The group of eight award recipients will be recognized for their achievements by the Lt. Governor at an event on November 3rd from 3pm-5pm; location to be announced. Participation invitations will be sent directly to each honoree for them to share with their respective teams, friends and family. For more on the Lt. Governor’s Challenge, visit the website.

Keith Warren
Office of the Lt. Governor
+1 302-542-6343
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